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Using the blended spaces framework to design heritage stories with schoolchildren.

O'Keefe, Brian; Benyon, David


Brian O'Keefe

David Benyon


Blended spaces are spaces where a physical space is deliberately integrated in a close-knit way with a digital space. Blended spaces may take the form of a carefully designed meeting room, for example, that integrates collaborative media with the design of the physical space. Another type of blended space integrates some digital content with a physical location to create a new, unified user experience (UX). Blended spaces aim to produce a more harmonized UX of a place by considering the correspondences between physical and digital spaces and by considering the movement through these spaces. We have developed a framework for the design of blended spaces that focuses on four principal constructs; ontology, topology, agency and volatility. This framework has proved useful for designing heritage stories in previous work. In this paper we describe how we have used the framework with a group of grade 5 schoolchildren as a participative co-design method to help them develop a digital tourism experience for a living-history village and museum. We describe how the framework was used to guide four design workshops with schoolchildren. The evaluation of a heritage story designed and acted out by the schoolchildren themselves and evaluated by another group of schoolchildren provides evidence that the experience was enjoyed. The outcomes of all four workshops gave us insights towards how to not only design blended spaces with and for schoolchildren, but also how to teach complex theoretical design methodologies that enable schoolchildren to become the designers of blended spaces.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 20, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2016
Publication Date 2015-12
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 1, 2017
Print ISSN 2212-8689
Electronic ISSN 2212-8697
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Pages 7-16
Keywords Human-Computer Interaction; Education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 23, 2016


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